Umm……. I’m kind of not sure where the time is going here – it seems like it’s really flying by.
What seemed like a couple of weekends ago, but I now realize was over a month ago, we took our kids on the annual spring Rando. Rando is short for randonne which means a long hike. Each spring a giant Rando is organized as a day-long event with different walking routes for different ambition levels between three local chateaus.
Last year we participated in the short version of the Rando which involved walking from one chateau to another, having a picnic lunch, and then walking back. Last year it was hot – so hot, in fact, that we ran out of water and ended up staggering across the finish line like we had emerged from the dessert. Somehow after our parched schlepp, we did managed to find a beer table like a mirage in the dessert – and ice cream for the kids. These are my favorite kinds of mirages.
This year, we were determined to be more prepared and we were also determined to try a more challenging route, so we decided on the 17k route (that’s nearly 10.5 miles for my American friends). Our kids are pretty good with long distances, as long as there are snacks involved, and despite the fact that a few of our friend thought we were insane, we decided to try it. We did also managed to convince a few other friends to join us. My motto “safety in numbers” works especially well in situations like this, since there is nothing that motivates a kid like another kid running ahead of them. And, there is nothing that motivates an adult like being beaten by your kid. It’s like Psych 101 in action.
Things were going pretty well until we came to the top of a large hill and saw a woman passed out laying on the side of the trail. Luckily she was surrounded by other people and we were not first on the scene. My ability to be calm in a crisis situation (especially when people are screaming in French) is admittedly not the best.
We were heavily armed with snacks and plenty of water, but unfortunately for us the weather was about 30 degrees cooler than last year, which made walking a long distance more like a slog and less like a frolic in the sunshine. On our way, we passed the house where Django Reinhardt, the legendary jazz musician, lived in a small town called Samois-sur-Seine. Although he died in 1953, I would imagine that Samois looked about the same then as it does today, and probably as it did even 100 years before that.
The good news is that we made it to the end of the Rando and we felt a good bit of pride as we took off our shoes and took a pause for a cold beverage. There was a shocking lack of whining and next year the kids say that they want to do the 28K (17+ mile) route. I’m not sure about that one. I might need to put some beer in my backpack to get through it.